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Scenes We'd Like To See: Alternate Movies, Television & Other Pop Culture Miscellanea

Yokai Man

Well-known member
Hmm. I'm really having quite a hard time getting all of this down. Keeping it brief is proving much more difficult than I expected it would be and trying to write it has largely ceased to be enjoyable.

Would it be of interest if I outlined my ideas in a non-narrative form?
What did you have in mind?
 
What did you have in mind?
The basic premise (which I outlined in a PM to @Ncw8, to whom I extend my gratitude for some suggestions) is that Sidney Newman does not take the Head of Drama job at the BBC and remains with Associated British Corporation as their Head of Drama. The concept for Doctor Who eventually finds its way to him when Donald Wilson and C.E. Webber are unable to get it produced at the BBC, so Newman makes some additions to the premise (i.e. the Doctor and the TARDIS, as he did in OTL) and responsibility for producing the series finds its way into the hands of Lew Grade of ITC Entertainment

Grade engages Gerry Anderson and his independent company AP Films to assist with the production; Anderson had enjoyed some success on American network television with his Grade-funded Supermarionation series Supercar and Fireball XL5, but he was keen to write, direct and produce in live action. In this TL, Doctor Who is his opportunity. I also had the notion that, as a sop to keep Newman happy, Grade hires one of his proteges at ABC, Verity Lambert, as an associate producer. Most of the directors and screenwriters come from the existing ITC stable and include names such as Dennis Spooner, Philip Broadley and Terry Nation. So that is the basic premise of the concept: there's no Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet in the 1960s because Gerry Anderson is making Doctor Who for Lew Grade at ITV.

My idea is that Grade is keen to package the series as The Avengers for kids, so it initially runs as a half-hour historical adventure serial on Saturday mornings under the title The Explorers. The initial cast is headed by Steve Forrest, an American actor playing Captain John Clark, agent of Time Command (to improve the marketability of the series in America, which was always a key objective for Grade) with Sue Lloyd as his glamorous assistant and playwright and stage actor Hugh Burden as an eccentric scientist named Doctor Who (in my mind, his performance would be comparable with his title role in The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder), who built the TARDIS and used a variety of James Bond style gadgets.

Burden easily steals the show and Forrest decides to leave after a single season, citing disenfranchisement with the series and a desire to move his family back to America. Compare to Ian Hendry quitting The Avengers after one season in OTL. Sensing the off-beat potential of a series headlined by Burden, Grade arranges for the second season to be moved to a primetime evening slot with a full-length running time. Around this time, Terry Nation presents a script entitled "Crisis in Deep Space", a two-part episode in which the Doctor encounters a belligerent mechanical species called the Rocket Men, which are given a striking visual design by Anderson's art department and essentially become the Daleks of this TL. Encouraged by Lambert and Anderson, Grade has this story edited into a feature-length television movie and successfully sells it to NBC in America, who agree to license the broadcasting rights and put Doctor Who on American screens in a primetime slot on a major network.

Burden announces his decision to leave the role at the end of his fourth season (1967/68) and Spooner devises a concept which serves the same role as regeneration in OTL (I couldn't think of anything very creative; I'm sure I could have come up with something eventually, but one must use one's imagination at this stage) and the Doctor is recast with Laurence Payne in the title role. Payne's aristocratic demeanour and dashing appearance are an immediate hit with audiences, as is the introduction of a new arch-nemesis for Doctor Who in the form of "the Hood", a mad scientist created by Gerry Anderson who had access to his own time machine, played on a recurring basis by Peter Wyngarde for the best part of the next decade. Unfortunately, Payne is partially blinded while filming a fencing scene (mirroring a real life incident which I believe occurred when he was shooting an episode of Sexton Blake) and has to quit the part unexpectedly in 1971.

Scrambling for a solution, Grade is able to persuade Frank Finlay, who bore a superficial resemblance to Payne, to continue to play the same incarnation of the character. Finlay as "the second Second Doctor" is probably the only somewhat novel idea I had for this TL in the sense that I don't think it's been done by any other Doctor Who TL, at least none which occur to me. Finlay never quite catches on and does not return after his one season as a replacement Doctor. I think around this time, Anderson would have quit as well, leaving under a cloud having realised that Grade's lawyers had drafted their contracts such that he was left with no rights of ownership to any of his creations.

Desperate to save his golden goose (with The Saint having come to an end and Roger Moore moved on to pastures new), which was still popular in America, Grade lobbies hard for an American actor to play the next Doctor and pulls off a bit of a coup by hiring Leonard Nimoy, who plays the role from 1973 until 1977 and becomes this TL's equivalent to Tom Baker. In real life, Nimoy worked for Grade in 1973 on an unsuccessful pilot produced by ITC called Baffled!, in which he played a race car driver who gains psychic powers as a result of a head injury and uses them to solve mysteries. Here he's offered a choice between that and the lead role in Doctor Who, and opts for the latter, surmising that it could help him to overcome his Spock typecasting.

When Nimoy leaves, Grade turns his attention back to the British audience and poaches a major star from the BBC to play the Fourth Doctor. Fresh off his stint presenting The Generation Game, Bruce Forsyth is a surprise choice who brings the full gamut of his decades of experience in music hall to bring more comedic, more whimsical "light entertainment" angle to the Doctor (I had a notion that it would come down to a choice between Forsyth and someone like Martin Shaw or Dennis Waterman, who would have been more of an action man). Here, I was influenced by my knowledge of how Barry Letts had hoped to make use of Jon Pertwee's skills as a song and dance man; he wanted the Third Doctor to sing, dance, play the guitar, do simple magic tricks and so on, though Pertwee was eager to do "proper acting" and it never really came to much. I could imagine Forsyth as the Doctor making lots of guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, for instance. Somewhere in here, I suspect Grade would be keen to get a Doctor Who movie into theatres, but I never decided where that would fit.

With six seasons from 1977 to 1983, he's the longest-running actor in the role and if anything more successful than his predecessor (achieving a level of popularity with children unseen since the mid-1960s), but he is eternally the most controversial. A key player in this era is one of Grade's newest discoveries: Jim Henson. Grade produced The Muppet Show when nobody in America would buy into it, and he sells it back to NBC here as he did in real life. Henson wants to do The Muppet Movie and Grade is willing to put up part of the money, but Henson and friends contributing their talents to Doctor Who is one of the conditions. So for part of this run of episodes, the Doctor has a pseudo-Muppet sidekick who kicks about the TARDIS and comes up against all these fantastic-looking aliens courtesy of the Creature Shop. This largely comes to an end when Forsyth leaves and is replaced by a much younger actor, Jeremy Irons, who had just have come to prominence from his appearances in ITV's adaptation of Brideshead Revisited opposite Anthony Andrews. He plays the Doctor for two seasons (1983/84 and 1985/86) and despite being considered "so dreamy", his cold, stoic intellectual demeanour is off-putting to audiences and in any event he hears Hollywood calling and quits to be in The Mission.

At this stage, my plans got a bit murkier. One idea was that it would continue on as usual and I had thoughts about off-the-wall future Doctors including Martin Kemp and Hugh Quarshie in the 90s and either Geraldine Somerville or Janet McTeer as the first female Doctor debuting in 2000. But the other notion I had was that the same string of box office disasters which forced Grade to close ITC in real life would also play out here, the result being that longtime stateside licensee NBC would intervene to buy Doctor Who outright and shift production to America. From there, my thought was that production duties would be assigned to someone like Donald P. Bellisario or Stephen J. Cannell or someone else who insists on putting their middle initial in. The first "American" Doctor would be either an expatriate Brit (any Brit would jump at the chance) like Edward Woodward or Simon MacCorkindale (though the idea of some footnote about Manimal being a massive hit series that got eight seasons and won a bunch of Golden Globes may have been too good to resist; I may have already done that in my AH.com TL but I can't remember; I'm not able to access AH.com to check in any case since I was banned) or an American actor. My first choice there would be someone like Scott Bakula or Richard Dean Anderson. After that, I suppose the temptation would be to turn it into a parade of popular sci-fi actors from the 90s; no denying that Doctor Who played by Robert Picardo would be entertaining, of course. All that being said, I realise that "the Americans start making it" is essentially what I did last time around. Perhaps that's why I never got very far with it.

Well, that's it, for what it's worth.
 

Ncw8

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So for part of this run of episodes, the Doctor has a pseudo-Muppet sidekick who kicks about the TARDIS and comes up against all these fantastic-looking aliens courtesy of the Creature Shop.
I do like that idea. The Muppet sidekick sounds like he could be similar to Frobisher from the Doctor Who Magazine (seen here playing the piano for the Sixth Doctor)

 

Archibald

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Yokai Man

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Imagine a cross-over between Duel (1971) Vanishing point (1971, too) and Easy Rider (1969).
The evil truck, a couple of cars, and the riders racing together across the desert. Also dueling to death between them. All of them more or less high on benzedrine, LSD and marijuana.
Jesus, what a movie that would be.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_Point_(1971_film)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duel_(1971_film)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Rider
but who in Hollywood would say yes to that
 

Charles EP M.

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Patrick Stewart is actually cast as Mr Freeze in Batman & Robin like was originally considered.

This has absolutely no impact on the film's critical and cultural legacy, it's still rubbish, but at least TTL gets to see Patrick Stewart snarling "what killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AAAAAAGE"
 

Archibald

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in France it was rebranded point limite zero. I heard about it in a cars magazine but never saw it. Yesterday I checked the Wikipedia page and youtube and well - I need to see it. Is there a DVD of it ? I love Spielberg Duel, same year and same roads or close enough. I watched Easy rider a loooong time ago.
 

RyanF

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Randomly thought of a @Thande-esque consequence chain in television today.

If there were no Kolchak: The Night Stalker there would be no The X-Files - Chris Carter cited the former as a "tremendous* influence" on the latter; subsequently if there was no The X-Files there would be no Breaking Bad - Vince Gilligan cut his teeth on the 90s science fiction phenomenon and even first worked with Bryan Cranston in The X-Files on the episode "Drive". The look and style of The X-Files was more indirectly influential on such television programmes as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost, and even to video games like Deus Ex and Perfect Dark.

Likewise, without Kolchak: The Night Stalker there might never have seen The Sopranos - David Chase made his bones on the 70s programme as story editor and his career would have had a different trajectory without working on it. Without The Sopranos we would never have had Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire - both Matthew Weiner and Terence Winter, respective creators of both, managed to hone their craft working under Chase on The Sopranos. More nebulously, would we have seen the likes of The Wire and Deadwood without the trailblazing of The Sopranos. Not to detract from Oz, but The Sopranos led a greater creative revolution than its predecessor.

Working backwards, the only reason we got Kolchak: The Night Stalker was because the network insisted on a weekly television programme rather than a third telefilm featuring the character following The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. If they had continued making annual television movies the influence on Chris Carter would still be there but David Chase would be unlikely to get his start.

Working further back, the only reason we got The Night Stalker as an ABC Movie of the Week was because author Jeff Rice was shopping round an novel that no publisher wanted and his agent suggested it would make a good movie. It was handed over to television horror legends Richard Matheson to adapt and Dan Curtis to produce, and between them they managed to give us the dishevelled, pork pie hatted reporter we all know and love and proved so influential.

*pre-Trump usage
 
Likewise, without Kolchak: The Night Stalker there might never have seen The Sopranos - David Chase made his bones on the 70s programme as story editor and his career would have had a different trajectory without working on it. Without The Sopranos we would never have had Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire - both Matthew Weiner and Terence Winter, respective creators of both, managed to hone their craft working under Chase on The Sopranos. More nebulously, would we have seen the likes of The Wire and Deadwood without the trailblazing of The Sopranos. Not to detract from Oz, but The Sopranos led a greater creative revolution than its predecessor.
Sopranos may still be on the cards because the programme that helped Chase make his name in the 70s wasn't Kolchak, but rather The Rockford Files. In fact the penultimate episode of the latter series features this two hapless New Jersey goons who desperately want to get made by doing favours for a retired crime boss; he wanted that to spin off into a late-70s version of Sopranos.
 

RyanF

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Sopranos may still be on the cards because the programme that helped Chase make his name in the 70s wasn't Kolchak, but rather The Rockford Files. In fact the penultimate episode of the latter series features this two hapless New Jersey goons who desperately want to get made by doing favours for a retired crime boss; he wanted that to spin off into a late-70s version of Sopranos.
A very good point, though I do wonder how much Chase got the chance to make his name based on the experience he gained as story editor on Kolchak.

You also raise the interesting point of what if any network was willing to take the chance on Chase's mafia drama at any point between the late 70s and late 90s.
 
You also raise the interesting point of what if any network was willing to take the chance on Chase's mafia drama at any point between the late 70s and late 90s.
The thing is I don't any network would be willing to let Chase do what he probably wanted to do between the 70s and 90s; HBO basically made its reputation as the network where people said "fuck" a lot and sometimes you saw asses but I think that would have been a bit beyond most network shows. America was horrified by the sight of Dennis Franz's ass on NYPD Blue, but in fairness, I imagine they would have felt likewise had it been an attractive person's ass.

Closest precedents I can think of would probably be something like Wiseguy or Michael Mann's Crime Story.
 
I remember a while ago @Elektronaut mentioned in this thread that he had William Conrad in mind as an American Doctor and was a bit annoyed that I'd mentioned him as an option.

I've had another idea for an American Doctor in the 60s or 70s: John Fiedler.

"EX-TER-MIN-ATE!"
"Ohhhh, d-d-d-dear!"
 

RyanF

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I remember a while ago @Elektronaut mentioned in this thread that he had William Conrad in mind as an American Doctor and was a bit annoyed that I'd mentioned him as an option.

I've had another idea for an American Doctor in the 60s or 70s: John Fiedler.

"EX-TER-MIN-ATE!"
"Ohhhh, d-d-d-dear!"
Be a good take on a sort of Second Doctor type, or if they do an equivalent of the Meddling Monk.

I really want to see Paul Lynde as an American Doctor.
 

RyanF

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Grab Bag of Star Wars PODs:

  1. The Star Wars - what if the filmed script bore a greater resemblance to George Lucas's early drafts of The Star Wars or Adventures of the Starkiller? Would it still have been as successful? Would it have become a cult classic not appreciated in its theatrical release before being vindicated through video rentals? Would whichever studio commissioned it be more likely to replace Lucas halfway through filming?
  2. Splinter of the Mind's Eye - what if the backup script for a low-budget sequel should Star Wars be a failure was filmed? Either as a quick cash-in sequel after the success of the first film or perhaps replacing The Star Wars Holiday Special as the franchise's first foray to the small screen? If the former would its scaled down story be as well received as The Empire Strikes Back, or would it be a critical failure? If the latter would it open the door for more television movies based on the franchise, without the Holiday Special to sour Lucas to the idea of television would we have got his droids-only or wookies-only movies on television as follow ups?
  3. Puppet Palpatine - what if the original idea for Emperor Palpatine, as written in the novelisation to Star Wars, of a puppet of ambitious governors and military officers like Tarkin and Vader, had been kept? With Tarkin dead would Vader have simply been the ultimate villain to the series, which might lead us to...
  4. "Obi-Wan killed your father." - what if the famous twist to The Empire Strikes Back, added very late to the script, had never happened? Would the series have become less about the destiny of the Skywalker family and more about the struggle between the rebellion and the Empire as a whole?
  5. No Return of the Jedi - what if the sequel to The Empire Strikes Back had not been the final chapter of a trilogy but rather the next film in a longer series? If Lucas had gone with his original intent to keep the franchise going with a rotating directors chair and having the next films introduce the Emperor and Luke's quest for his sister? Who would direct this third film and what would follow in 1986?
  6. Lynch's Revenge of the Jedi - what if David Lynch had come aboard to direct Return of the Jedi? Would he have conflicted as much with Lucas as Richard Marquand did, or perhaps more? Would that David Lynch touch have made the film that introduced the Ewoks too confused in tone? Would Lynch even have been fired and Lucas or even Spielberg having to step in on the sly to finish the film? Would we have got the sort of backlash and lack of success that the franchise would not really see until The Last Jedi and Solo in 1983?
  7. The Clone Wars - what if the original idea for a prequel series, beginning with the Clone Wars and the formation of the Jedi Knights had been filmed in the 90s? Would it have been better received than The Phantom Menace? Would the shortcomings of Lucas as a director and inherent in his filmed scripts still be apparent? Or would it be dissimilar enough from the OTL prequels to have some measure of critical success?
  8. Shadows of the Empire - what if as part of the multimedia project of 1996 there had been a live-action component filmed? Perhaps for television? The whole idea behind the project was to do all the media and marketing tie-ins to a film without doing a film, but there was also live-action projects around the time such as the cutscenes of Dark Forces II. Without using any of the cast of the original films could a script have been written around Dash Rendar and Prince Xixor?
  9. Backseat Lucas - what if George Lucas had not directed any of the prequels? Supposedly he never intended to and offered the role to such directors as Ron Howard and Robert Zemeckis, but they and perhaps others turned it down considering it to be too daunting a task (at that time in Howard's case). Would another person in the driving seat directing to Lucas's script have given us better prequel films, or would a combination of the problems inherent in the scripts and Lucas's controlling nature have moved them in the other direction?
  10. Underworld - what if the live-action television series set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope had been made sometime in the late 00s? There were fifty scripts ready for the programme, including one that was eventually developed into Rogue One and some ideas that made it into Solo. How would a successful iteration of the franchise on television have driven the development of the franchise? Would Lucas be able to maintain control or would the sale to Disney still happen?
 
Man, I remember when Wookieepedia's front page was posting weekly updates about that proposed live-action tv series on its front page for months in 2006.

He might still sell to Disney in the scenario you've proposed but I am not sure if it would happen while Michael Eisner is CEO. Most of Disney's major acquisitions - Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox etc. - have occurred under Iger's administration. It is a question of capital allocation, which I've seen described as the secret to Iger's success as an executive; he is very good at allocating his company's capital resources.

So, Iger is your standard big shot in a suit, but look at Eisner. By no means a bad businessman, but what Eisner also had throughout his tenure at Disney was this notion that he was the next Walt Disney and that he was the creative vision behind the entire corporation (among other things, he was infamously jealous of Pixar's seemingly effortless success in the early 00s even as it was a massive boon to Disney as a company).
 
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RyanF

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Grab Bag of Doctor Who PODs

  1. Geoffrey Bayldon - what if Geoffrey Bayldon had been the actor to play the title role in Doctor Who and not William Hartnell? In spite of being about twenty years younger than Hartnell Bayldon could pull off the same doddering incarnation so the effect on the success of the serious might be muted. However, when we come to the third season we won't have a lead actor struggling to remember his lines so the series might go on for longer with its original actor. Without the concept of regeneration would the series have ended by the late 60s / early 70s? Whether by its lead actor wishing to move on or changes behind the camera?
  2. No Daleks - what if Anthony Coburn's The Masters of Luxor had been produced as the second serial instead of Terry Nation's The Daleks? Would the programme have still reached the success it did without the pepper pots of doom? How much did Dalekmania make the programme a phenomenon on their own? Without them would the programme have been reduced to a two or three season run and be in obscurity now?
  3. Daleks spin-off - what if Terry Nation had successfully pitched a Dalek spin-off to the BBC or to a US network in the mid-60s? How would Doctor Who have fared losing its most famous characters so early? Would the Dalek programme have succeeded on the BBC and supplanted Doctor Who in popular consciousness? Or would it be doomed to a single season on NBC and the props later used on The Outer Limits and Star Trek?
  4. More Amicus films - what if the third Peter Cushing Doctor Who film based on The Chase had been produced by Amicus? Would they have made more based on the Dalek serials? Would they have moved on to films featuring the Cybermen? Would the presence of regularly released films based on the series have hindered the programme continuing beyond the 1960s?
  5. 70s film adaptation - what if either of the two proposed films during the 1970s, Doctor Who Meets Scratchman by Tom Baker and Ian Marter or Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen by Douglas Adams, had been produced? How would this change Baker's tenure as the Doctor? Would he leave earlier or later? Would the films be successful? What would Mary Whitehouse think about the Doctor meeting Satan? Would Adams have ever worked on the programme itself having written the film?
  6. George Gallaccio - what if George Gallaccio had accepted the producer job on Doctor Who, and it is never offered to John Nathan-Turner? Do we see the trend to a more earthbound show? Is it more akin to the era of Philip Hinchcliffe than Graham Williams? Does Eric Saward still get brought on board as a writer? Is a younger replacement for Tom Baker still sought or do they continue with middle-aged to older men in the role?
  7. Season 23 - what if the programme had not been put on hiatus by Michael Grade in 1985? Perhaps EastEnders never gets made? Would the resulting season 23, for which we know what serials were to be produced, have just sped up the desires of some at the BBC to shelve the programme due to declining quality? Or does Colin Baker get a more dignified exit from the role than being the only Doctor to be fired?
  8. Season 27 - similarly, what if the programme had not gone on hiatus in 1989 but had returned for another season in 1990? Was this just delaying the inevitable? Or would the improvements made in season 26 have been continued and allowed by Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy to bow out and a new Doctor/Companion combination be introduced by the end of the series? Would the Cartmel masterplan have come to fruition and the programme in the 90s bore a resemblance to the Virgin New Adventures line of books?
  9. The Dark Dimension - what if the planned 30th anniversary special had been produced? Would it have been successful enough to bring about a new incarnation of the programme on the BBC? Or would the fact its success was apparently predicated on returning Tom Baker to the role have hindered any return? Would it lead to a theatrical film or a full remake in the 1990s in the UK? Or even the US?
  10. Successful US adaptation - what if any of the planned film or television adaptations of Doctor Who by American production companies in the 1990s had taken off? Would they have been better starting anew instead of continuing the original incarnation as they did in the telemovie? Would it have had any longevity either way or would it have been cancelled after a season or two? If an entirely new version cancelled after a couple of seasons would it have spurred the revival of the show in the UK earlier based on the idea the BBC could do it better or would it kill any chances of a revival on the small screen?
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member
An alternative history of animation post 1989,but told thru ripoff movies made by studios like Goodtime Entertainment,Golden Films or Dingo Pictures.

A similar concept could be used with Asylum to show a world where different movies became prominent and popular enough to ripoff.

I’ve also thought of one of multiple pods for a timeline I’m sketching:Goodtime Entertainment doesn’t go overboard on Rudolph the red nosed reindeer the Movie and also like,idk,release it in December instead of October and thus remains in the business of making mockbusters for a little longer.

Does that seem plausible?
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member
9/11 doesn’t happen which it means,at least from a pop culture view,the following(that I can think of):
- the lord of the rings isn’t such a smash hit,which deeply affects fantasy movies and tv shows
-the porn war ,that bush administration wanted to wage but has stopped due the resources needed for the war on terror,happens
-Forrest Gump 2
-dumb destruction blockbusters still happen
-pretty much anything in relation with the war on terror fiction wise
-the end of history malaise that people were feeling culturally continues
 
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